I am satisfied with Jesus. He has done so much for me;
He has suffered to redeem me, He has died to set me free.
I am satisfied, I am satisfied, I am satisfied with Jesus.
But the question comes to me,
As I think of Calvary,
Is my Master satisfied with me?...
I grew up singing this song in church. It was especially favored during revivals. It always left me “sitting in fractures.”
Was God satisfied with me? Would He ever be? What could I possibly not be doing or doing more of that would achieve His coveted approval?
When I saw this week’s topic, “satisfied;” this song and one other popped in mind. Of course the Rolling Stone’s “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” wouldn’t be the number one hit at a Christian website – of course I could be wrong! (ha). But just out of curiosity I looked up the lyrics to M. Jagger/K. Richards’ infamous song recently redone by Britney Spears to refresh (hum-hum) my memory.
What struck me about both songs…both left me with the same feeling of emptiness. On one hand there is the deceptive reality that one can find ultimate fulfillment in worldly pleasures. On the other is the insidious trap of trying to earn God’s acceptance through works that religion baits unsuspecting believers with.
Neither one is right.
Like most women I battle with my self-worth. Being a Type “A” personality that is unmercifully driven toward unobtainable idealistic perfection resulting in hours of over-achievement has only intensified my struggle, but we’ll save my anal behavior patterns for another day! (ha) So after years of trying to “do it all for Jesus” I have found that religious activity is just as unfulfilling as worldly pleasures – although the infection rate of deadly diseases is incredibility lower. But truth be told, I could easily sing Mick Jagger’s song in church by altering just a few words.
How very sad. What is worse, my experience is not mine alone. Many of us, growing up in church, have suffered from the same distortion of our value to the Father.
But I don’t recall Jesus having a self-image problem…do you? Wonder why?
Funny, in three of the four Gospel, the Fatherly “Kodak moment” of God’s approval for His Son didn’t come after a successful evangelical campaign. It didn’t come after a massive drive to feed the homeless. Nor did it come after a successful bout with the religious right. It didn’t even come after His glorious resurrection from the dead.
The day the Father stamped His approval on His Son was the day He began His ministry. After 30 years of obscurity, before Jesus ever performed one miracle, preached one sermon or shed one drop of His precious blood, the Father was satisfied.
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17
The same was true at Creation. Before anything significant had happened on the planet, Moses recorded God’s comments about each day’s activities…”and God saw that it was good.” God was satisfied!
Even though our intentions may be good and our motives above suspect…sometimes I wonder if we would be more effective in winning souls into the Kingdom, if at the moment of our own personal salvation we truly received and actually believed with all of our heart, as Jesus did, that God is completely satisfied with us.
So repeat after me…out loud…ten times:
“This is my son/daughter (insert your name), whom I love, with him/her I am well pleased”…God
…just a thought.
© 10/14/04 Lissa M. Lee